about the exhibition

Jasper Johns



In 1960, artist Robert Rauschenberg gave Jasper Johns mimeographed maps of the United States that inspired Johns to begin working with the motif; he ultimately made three large Map paintings in addition to smaller paintings, prints, and drawings, sometimes rendered directly on the mimeographed sheets. During this time, Johns was beginning to employ monochromatic gray or blue palettes and, in 1962, he rendered Map almost entirely in shades of gray. Of his work of this period, he insisted: “My primary concern is visual form. The visual meaning may be discovered afterward—by those who look at it.”

Jasper Johns (b. 1930, August, Georgia; lives and works in New York)
Map, 1962
Encaustic and collage on canvas
60 x 93 in.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Gift of Marcia Simon Wiseman

The artificial construction people make is that painting is not intellectual, and does not involve much thinking, but involves psychic or subconscious pressures which are released through the act of painting. But I think painting like mine shows obvious kinds of hesitation and reworking which people associate with thought. —Jasper Johns

Art Terms